December, 2020 Issue

From the Chair...


Cleanfeed: A Solution for Remote Audio during COVID-19 by Ben Golden
New Paradigm in Theatrical Rigging: Packaged Hoists  
by Jody Kovalick
Shifting Gears and Producing Face to Face During a Global Pandemic by Todd F. Edwards
#RedAlertRESTART Event- Raising the Visibility of the Live Events Industry        
by Kiki Klun



Membership Meeting Minutes- Dec. 12, 2020
Treasurer's Report
Newsletter Archive Links
 Time to Renew Your Membership?





• Member Renewal Form
• Mission & Information

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From the Chair

by Corey Shelsta, NBS Section Chairperson

Todd     At this point, those of you in the academic world have likely finished your semester or are in final exams.  I hope you all had a safe and productive semester. 
    We had a meeting of the NBS section last Saturday over Zoom with about 20 in attendance.  It was good to see everyone again and catch up on news and events from around the region.  Last spring in my column I had predicted that we would all find ways to adapt and keep performing in the midst of quarantines and distancing – because we are good at thinking outside the box.  I was not disappointed from the updates I heard during the meeting.  Seems I was proven right.
    There has been lots of streaming going on.  Whether it is a live stream of an event on stage, a reading on Zoom, or some sort of recording of a live production or an edited Zoom production, the folks in our section were quite creative in our performances. 
    There were examples of schools producing Shakespeare, farces, dramas and even musicals. One thing I also noticed- a few schools (mine included) presented devised theatre.  I had not had the pleasure of working on a devised piece previously, but I had a great experience.  The performance we created had students in 5 groups based on their interests and experiences, each with a faculty mentor to guide them.  We presented these student-created works outside in our local botanical garden here on campus.  It was a wonderful event.
    We also did a performance on our stage with distanced blocking and actors in masks.  We sold tickets to this for a live audience as well as offering a streaming ticket.  We were quite happy with the turnout of both the live audience and the streaming audience.  I am also really excited that our students are gaining experience in running cameras and doing live video switching.  We used 3 cameras for the shoot, which I think was the ideal number for our space.  We learned a few things from the experience for next time, including the need for a “shooting script” so the operators know what shots are needed for each scene.  It might also be nice to have one camera a bit higher for a balcony shot.
    This process all led to a discussion of lighting.  Do we light for the live audience or do we light for the video stream?  Current camera technology is far better than it was when I started my career and can operate on what we would consider regular stage lighting levels.  We did ensure that there was downlight and backlight provided to make sure our actors did not look too flat on video, but we would be using that for properly implemented stage lighting as well.  There is more to stage lighting than McCandless and more to video lighting than Key, Fill, and Back.  I think this hybrid lighting world will be a fun area to explore as we go forward.
    Let’s make sure we do our best this holiday season to support our local theatres and theatre supply businesses.  Maybe there is a specialty tool or piece of equipment that would be an ideal present for someone.  I am getting my son (he’s getting a BFA in theatre design, as I’ve mentioned numerous times here) a gift certificate from a theatre supply business in our region so he can pick something out.  I’m not naming the business, because there are quite a few around that all need our support.  You all know who they are and who you buy from – help them out.  My family has also made a donation to our local community theatre to help them and we will be streaming a Guthrie production or two in the coming weeks.  Do what you can to support live theatre in our region in the coming weeks.
    And speaking of support, NBS could use your help as well!  With no in-person meetings this past year, many of us have not paid our section dues for membership.  Here is the link to the member renewal form in this newsletter.  Please make sure you are up to date on your NBS membership dues.

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season. [ ]